Ahead of planned protests this afternoon by opposition supporters in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director Alioune Tine said:
“Over the last five years, the Senegalese authorities have been cracking down on peaceful protests organized by opposition groups and human rights organizations, including by banning demonstrations, arresting peaceful protestors and using excessive force with live ammunition, batons and tear gas”.
Over the last five years, the Senegalese authorities have been cracking down on peaceful protests organized by opposition groups and human rights organizationsAlioune Tine Amnesty International Regional Director for West and Central Africa
“We call on the authorities to allow this afternoon’s planned demonstrations to proceed peacefully and not to use excessive force.”
“The fact that the authorities did not prohibit this protest is a first step, but it is not sufficient. The security forces must show restraint and allow the Senegalese people to exercise their rights to freedom of assembly and peaceful expression.”
Senegal opposition members have scheduled a peaceful protest this afternoon to demand that the government set up an action plan to prevent corruption and respect fundamental freedoms.
Though the protest has not been prohibited, the prefect of Dakar on 13 October asked the organizers to change the itinerary to avoid the capital’s city centre – where protests have been banned since 2012. The organizers have refused to change the route.
Amnesty International is calling for restraint from security forces and authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Last year, authorities continued to ban demonstrations organized by political parties and human rights activists, and to prosecute peaceful demonstrators.